Leslie George Basra
I originally joined the Dorset Regiment at Dorchester on 16th October 1939 and remained with them until 18th April 1940, when I was transferred to the Royal Sussex Regiment on 19th April 1940 at Brighton.
We sailed from Southampton to Le Havre, France in late April 1940 and then spent time guarding petrol dumps near Rosay, Northern France. I was captured near Amiens on 20th May 1940 and marched to Luxembourg and then to Trier on the German border. We were then transported by truck to Schubin POW camp.
So I became a POW number 4694 and spent time in the following POW
Schubin, Poland - Stalag XXIB
Malte, Poland (17th July 1940 - ?)
Sennfabrik, Posen, Poland - Stalag XXID (1st November 1940 - 8th December 1940)
Fort Rauch, Poland (9th December 1941 - 6th May 1942)
Khundorf, Poland (7th May 1942 - ?)
Lamsdorf, Poland (22nd July 1944 - ?)
Memmingem, South Germany (early 1945 -April 1945)
While I was in one of the early camps (Sennfabrik I think), I was taken seriously ill and it was only the attention of one of the camp doctors; Captain Norman Lansdell (Berks and Bucks Light Infantry) that got me back to full health. On my discharge from the hospital, I was offered the opportunity to become batman to Captain Lansdell (standing on the right) and so I spent the rest of my internment working for him as a medical orderly.
It was while we were in Fort Rauch that we acquired a pet dog, Faust, a Doberman Pinscher, who we fitted with leather boots for his paws which he kept cutting on the many opened tins lying around the camp.
I was liberated by American troops - 29th April 1945 and then flown from Memmingem to Rheims, France. From there, I was flown by Lancaster bomber to Branscombe Aerodrome near Guildford. On return to England in early May 1945 I was attached to 6th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment and sent to an army base near Crawley for a day or two, then went home on extended leave.
After leave, I reported back to Kirbymoorside in Yorkshire and was transferred to Aylesbury, Bucks in 1946. I was demobbed in Guildford, Surrey on 13th February 1946.
I retained a number of documents and photos from my time in the camps, including my German record card complete with fingerprints and photo id. I handed all these items over to the regimental archives to ensure their long term preservation.